If you’ve ever been hospitalized, you can understand the importance of visits from family and friends alike. Until recently, though, some of patients’ dearest friends – their pets – have been barred from visiting albeit for understandable reasons. Many hospitals have therapy-animal programs where trained animals, mostly dogs, make rounds to patients and their human visitors. However, they can only come at certain times and since they visit many different rooms, the animals’ visits are limited to patients without contact/isolation precautions (which are the the same whether a patient has an active infection or merely a colonization of certain germs).
Now, some hospitals are allowing visitations by pets. The undeniable benefits of pet-visits are the same recognized by pet owners and the operators of animal therapy programs: decreased anxiety, increased mood and comfort. Additionally, well-researched guidelines for pet transport and behavior qualifications help to limit adverse incidents.